Hockey Workouts: Routines & Exercises for Hockey Players (2022)

A hockey workout routine is crucial to hone your skills and prepare you for in-season play and performance. Proper form, consistency and attention to detail will keep you in optimum shape to help you endure long games.

Hockey players are faced with 30-80 second intervals with a 4-5 minute rest between shifts and usually consist of short, intense bouts of high speed skating and aggressive body contact. The intermittent nature of the sport means that endurance is an essential component to playing a great game. Add to all this the fact that players are skating, holding a stick and controlling the puck, and there’s no denying that hockey is in fact very physically challenging.

On average, players perform for 15-20 minutes of a 60-minute game, so a hockey training program should meet the demands of this physically challenging sport. To ensure you have what you need for training shop our select of workout shorts for men, women and youth; warmups for men and youth; and training footwear

Hockey Workout Routine Tips

Since hockey is such a physically demanding sport that requires both strength and endurance, exercise routines for hockey players are different than what some other athletes use to train. Let's take a look at a few tips to help you maximize the results of your hockey training program.

(Video) Complete Strength Workout for Hockey Players

Tip 1: Focus on Explosive Movement

As we already noted, hockey is a game of short periods of acceleration and explosive movements, followed by quick rests. Given that the typical hockey shift is so short, players must give 110 percent for that little bit of time they’re on the ice each shift. This means a hockey player's workout should consist of power-exercises that mimic those short, intense shifts. It’s not like running a marathon or training to play for ten or fifteen consecutive minutes. Like their shifts, workouts should be targeted to prepare players for strenuous bursts of energy. Think of the difference between sprinting and long distance running. Players must train so they can explode for the short term, rather than conserve for the long run.

Tip 2: Core Power

Your core affects every part of your physical nature. From stability on the ice, to generating power for shots, the core may be the single most important muscle group that hockey players need to condition. Almost all movements in the sport of hockey require substantial core strength. Your balance, skating power, shooting, passing, checking and even absorbing hits all stem from your core. Any hockey player workout routine should pay close attention to core power and strength.

Tip 3: Legs, Legs, Legs

It’s no surprise that hockey is a lower body intensive sport. You generate power and balance from your legs, and they also allow you to build speed and accelerate on the ice. Including hockey workouts that improve leg strength can help you become a stronger, faster and more skilled skater. Getting as much power as possible in each stride may be what ultimately lets you beat another player to the puck. Your legs may also be the single reason you’re able to stay on your feet during heavy contact.

Hockey Workouts: Focus Areas & Exercises

Now that we've covered the most important areas of the body your hockey workout should target, we're going to delve into some specific types of workouts for hockey players and see how they can help prepare you to be physically ready for the intense competition you’re sure to face on the ice.

Cardio Training

Hockey Workouts: Routines & Exercises for Hockey Players (1)

Cardiovascular exercises for hockey players come in two different varieties: aerobic and anaerobic.


Aerobic exercises involve accelerating your heart rate for extended periods of time. These are usually medium-intensity workouts that can be sustained at length without straining the body. Aerobic exercises improve long-term conditioning and stamina.

Anaerobic exercises, however, involve short, intense bursts of activity followed by moments of reduced action. Hockey games regularly include these short bursts when skating from zone to zone, chasing loose pucks or a multitude of other short yet concentrated moments of movement. No hockey players’ workout plan should ignore anaerobic exercise (you may know this as high intensity interval training, or HIIT).

Sample Exercises: sprints, shuttle runs, skating lines, interval treadmill training and rope skipping.

Weight Training

Hockey Workouts: Routines & Exercises for Hockey Players (2)

A hockey weightlifting program should be included in your workout routine to help improve your overall strength. Weightlifting programs should target multiple parts of your physique, not just your upper body. Building up strength and incorporating weightlifting into hockey-specific workouts will generally occur more heavily during the offseason, but that doesn’t mean you should completely neglect weight training during regular season play.

Sample Exercises: squats, deadlifts, lunges, barbell curls, triceps extensions and resistance rowing.

(Video) Dumbbell Workout for Hockey Players [PERFECT FOR AT HOME]

Balance & Stability

Hockey Workouts: Routines & Exercises for Hockey Players (3)

Speed skating, quick maneuverability and maintaining an ability to take direct contact while remaining upright are keys to success on the ice. Good hockey workouts will always target balance and stability to improve these aspects of your game, and strong core workouts will help you achieve this.

Successful training programs will spend a significant amount of time focusing on core strength. A strong core will greatly improve your balance and stability as well as other physical aspects of your game.

Keeping those leg workouts in your hockey workout routine is another way to improve balance and stability. There will be times in a game when you end up gliding on one leg, or other times when your back leg comes off the ice while shooting. Strong legs help support your body in these types of situations.

Sample Exercises: planks, side planks, stability board workouts, squats and leg specific weight training.

Flexibility & Injury Prevention

Hockey Workouts: Routines & Exercises for Hockey Players (4)

(Video) TOP 11 Back Exercises For Hockey Players

While the goal of every hockey player's workout should be to improve his or her on-ice performance, flexibility, injury prevention and longevity must not be ignored. If you strengthen your muscles without adequately limbering them up, the resulting lack of flexibility could hinder your game when you’re unable to get that extra reach. The ability to react quickly to block shots, move in awkward motions to stay out of harm's way or stuff a rebound back into the net will all be improved with strengthened flexibility.

The same hockey exercises that target flexibility can also help prevent injury. Loosening up your muscles properly before and even during a hockey workout program will go a long way towards preventing injuries that often result from the physical nature of the game.

Besides incorporating regular exercises to enhance flexibility, remember to always include a warm-up routine before workouts, practices and games. Getting your body adequately ready for a workout is an important step and will reduce strains, muscle pulls and other injuries.

Sample Exercises: stretches, yoga and foam rolling.

Role Specific Training

Every position on the ice has different physical requirements, so it's necessary to include at least some position-specific hockey workouts that aim to prepare your body specifically for what you and your position is trying to accomplish on the ice.

Forwards require speed to beat defenders. They also need strong forearms for a snappy wrist shot. Including some extra sprints and targeted strength training can help forwards improve these areas.

(Video) Tempo Runs For Hockey Players 🏒 Aerobic Conditioning Workout

In general, defensemen tend to be some of the strongest players on the ice. A hockey weightlifting program can benefit defenders when it comes to winning corner battles, finishing off a check or clearing a forward away from the front of the net. Defenders also spend more time skating backwards, so targeting the leg and core muscles most used when skating backwards is also a must.

Because their role is so different from regular skaters, many goaltenders incorporate more flexibility and agility training into their hockey workouts. Yoga, stretching and basic agility exercises are all vital to keeping a goalie nimble enough to react quickly.

Jump Start Your Training with HockeyMonkey!

For hockey players, training for success means having the right tools and implementing the right routines into your workouts. If you need help finding information or equipment to improve your hockey training routine, visit one of HockeyMonkey's SuperStore locations across the United States. With our huge selection of training equipment in stock and experts on hand to answer all your questions, you’re sure to find just what you need to hone your skills and take your game to the next level. Not near a retail store? Check out our hockey training products online. We’ve got everything you need at HockeyMonkey.


What workouts are good for hockey players? ›

At-Home Hockey Workout
  • Wind Sprints/Explosive Running. One of the best exercises for hockey players to increase explosiveness on the ice is to engage in various sprinting exercises on dry land. ...
  • Pull-ups/Chin-ups. Don't have room for a set of weights or a bench press at home? ...
  • Bench Press. ...
  • Squats. ...
  • Hang Cleans. ...
  • Deadlifts.
27 Oct 2020

How many times a week should a hockey player workout? ›

How many days a week should I train? It's good to be eager and want serious results but training 5-6 days a week is simply too much and risks over-training. In order to recover properly and see continual improvements it is recommend to workout 3-4 times per week maximum.

How can I train for hockey at home? ›

15-Minute Hockey Workout! [No Equipment Needed] - YouTube

How do hockey players improve strength? ›

Complete Strength Workout for Hockey Players - YouTube

How do you train like a pro hockey player? ›

TRAIN LIKE A PRO HOCKEY PLAYER (use this workout!)

How can I improve my hockey agility? ›

Hockey Agility Training [Full Workout] - YouTube

How do you get faster in hockey? ›

HOCKEY SPEED TRAINING (Steal This Workout!) - YouTube

How much should hockey players squat? ›

​Here are some decent strength numbers to shoot for hockey players: ​Squat - 2x body weight. ​Deadlift - 2.5x body weight. Chin-up - 0.6x body weight.

Are squats good for hockey? ›

Hockey players usually have tight hips from skating, squatting can help increase hip mobility by going to full-depth. Increased vertical jump/sprint speed aka explosiveness: we know vertical jumps and sprints all require aspects of power.

Is cycling good for hockey? ›

That being said, biking can be a phenomenal way to enhance conditioning in hockey players in many situations such as: It's non-impactful nature, unlike running/sprints, is joint-sparring for players with knee or ankle issues.

Is running good for hockey? ›

Running allows hockey players to extend their hips with their feet on the ground, which is important since they primarily train in skates with a flexed posture during the season. Their muscles need to be able to apply force through the ground and get to a lengthened state.

How do you train like a d1 hockey player? ›

TRAIN LIKE AN NHL PLAYER (Use This Workout This Season!)

Does swimming help hockey? ›


Swimming is a great choice for hockey player both off-season and during hockey season. It helps players stay in shape, increases circulation and builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.

How do you build leg strength for hockey? ›

5 Single-Leg Strength Exercises Hockey Players Should Be Doing
  1. Front Rack Split Squat. In our training system, we treat this lift like any other big barbell movement. ...
  2. Front-Foot Elevated Split Squat. ...
  3. One-Leg DB Romanian Deadlift with Rack Hold. ...
  4. Band-Resisted One-Leg Valslide Leg Curl. ...
  5. One-Leg Glute Bridge off Bench.
13 Nov 2018

Should hockey players lift heavy? ›

Strength Development

The fast and agile players should be careful not to bulk up too much. You have a good foundation from early pre-season workouts and now the emphasis is on lifting heavier weights in order to train the nervous system in conjunction with the muscle fibers to move bigger loads.

Is weight training good for hockey? ›

Yes. Improved strength helps to improve sports performance and reduce injury risk. That's a benefit for every young hockey player. Physical performance measures like vertical jump, sprint times, and maximal oxygen consumption have been shown to improve with increased strength from resistance training.

Do NHL players lift weights? ›

MYTH: Hockey Players Can't Lift Heavy Weights In-Season

Strength and power were a side-effect. Bodybuilding methods to gain muscle size are traditionally based on a high volume of exercises and inducing muscle fatigue. In the off-season, they were grinding to build muscle and strength.

How do NHL players train? ›

A typical “speed workout” with an NHL player would look something like this. Dynamic warmup including dynamic stretching, band walks and CNS activation such as jogs, side shuffles and skips in all directions.

Is HIIT good for hockey players? ›

HIIT workouts are perfect for hockey players because they mimic the way the game is played. For example, a hockey shift is about 45 seconds of high-intensity and then the players get a change and rest on the bench (low-intensity recovery period) until their next shift.

Is running good for hockey? ›

Running allows hockey players to extend their hips with their feet on the ground, which is important since they primarily train in skates with a flexed posture during the season. Their muscles need to be able to apply force through the ground and get to a lengthened state.

How can I increase my speed in hockey? ›

Triple Broad Jumps

Jump as far as you can with two feet three times in a row. This exercise helps you improve your top speed on the ice by focusing on horizontal power. Cover as much ground as you can with each jump.

How do I get in shape for hockey fast? ›

Jump squats, one-leg hops, box jumps, and skater jumps are all examples of plyometric exercise. These exercises demand that your muscles contract to explode upwards and then cause a stretch as you land, the combination of which is highly effective in developing leg and stomach muscles and improving your hockey shape.

How can I increase my stamina for hockey? ›

Ice Hockey Tips : How to Build Stamina in Hockey - YouTube

How do you train like a pro hockey player? ›

TRAIN LIKE A PRO HOCKEY PLAYER (use this workout!)

Do hockey players need to be fit? ›

As hockey players, we know that ice hockey is a dynamic, exciting sport. It is also physically demanding. Dr. Renda Hawwa points out in a feature on ice hockey that the sport “requires a combination of aerobic and anaerobic fitness,” and players can burn anywhere from 400 to 800 calories in an hour.

How do you train like a d1 hockey player? ›

TRAIN LIKE AN NHL PLAYER (Use This Workout This Season!)

Why is hockey so tiring? ›

Players are only on the ice for about a minute or two at a time before rotating out and onto the bench to rest. But, that short amount of time spent on the ice is full of explosive movement that will leave your body exhausted.

Why is ice hockey hard? ›

Ice hockey is a tough sport; the game is played in three intense periods of 20 minutes. The players are trained to be aggressive, both physically and emotionally, and require great strength and stamina. Ice hockey is a technical game and requires the player to be attentive at all times.

How much cardio should a hockey player do? ›

Hockey players should never go long distance even when performing aerobic work. 20-30minutes max at low to moderate intensities and only when necessary.

How do I become a better hockey player off ice? ›

How To Become A Better Hockey Player Off The Ice - YouTube

How many miles do hockey players run? ›

[Request] How far does an average top-tier hockey player skate in a game and how many calories would that burn please? Occasionally they will actually post stats like that during the broadcast. Usually between 5 to 8 miles. And the vast majority of that is 'sprinting'.

How long does it take to get good at hockey? ›

USA Hockey intended that players take two years to master the skills so they are fully prepared to join a hockey league.


1. How To Workout like a College Hockey Player | The Basics
(Lawson McDonald)
2. Hockey Mobility Routine (For In-Season) 🏒
(Hockey Training)
3. Hockey Hip Mobility Routine! Follow Along
(Lawson McDonald)
4. Best Lower Body Exercises For Hockey Players
(Hockey Training)
5. Youth Bodyweight Hockey Workout - At Home Workout
(Hockey Training)
6. NHL Off-Season Workout (Gain SERIOUS Leg Strength!)
(Next Level Athletics)

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